Tag Archives: #Depression

I Preach Kata-RX / I Practice Kata-RX

20 May

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I frequently get the same form of question, “So, this Kata-RX For Wellness thing, you preach it, but do you walk the walk?” Short answer, “Yes.” But more often than not I relate a story from the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Interested in Kata-RX? Try it absolutely for FREE using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

 

A woman once brought her small daughter to Gandhi with a simple request, “Tell my daughter not to eat candy. It is bad for her teeth. She respects you and will obey you.” But Gandhi refused. “Come back in three weeks,” Gandhi told her. “I will see what I can do.”

When the woman returned in three weeks with her daughter, Gandhi took the little girl on his knee and gently instructed her, “Don’t eat candy. It is bad for your teeth.”
The girl shyly nodded her assent. Then she and her mother left for their home. When they were gone, some of Gandhi’s associates were upset and confronted him.

“Bapu, did you know that the woman and her child had to walk hours to see you, and you made them walk that great distance twice in three weeks? Why didn’t you give that simple advice to the girl when they first came?”

Gandhi laughed. “Three weeks ago I did not know if I could stop eating candy. How could I advocate a value unless I myself practice it?” (See Endnote # 1)

Now, that’s a little more memorable than simply answering “Yes” to the question. The fact remains, each and every day I practice my Kata-RX. I have woven it into the fabric of my daily routine. It takes a little as three to five minutes. Again, that’s three to five minutes. Seriously, if you can’t find three to five minutes at least once a day, well, that’s something that need fixing.



The two or three sessions I do during the day keep me focused, well and able to get through the day. My reward, later in the early evening, is a more comprehensive Kata-RX session that I expand to thirty or forty-five minutes and often add-in zazen (seated meditation) at the end.

So, it must be understood that I preach Kata-RX ONLY because I know how it helps me during my day. If it didn’t have that effect on me, rest assured I would not preach it. Certainly, I would not offer it for FREE, I would want a buck for my “snake-oil” product.
Unsure, try it absolutely for FREE using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

Yours in Kata-RX for Wellness

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnote:
1. Goswami, Amit, The Self-Aware Universe, (G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York, NY, 1993) p. 264-265.

Coronavirus Poll – Worst Case Scenario

14 Mar

Another day of Coronavirus news. Stress, anxiety, fear and yeah, panic are taking hold in mind-boggling numbers. All data relates to one thing – the expansion of the Coronavirus. But, is that the worst case scenario?

Yesterday I finished my nightly Kata-RX mediation and was quietly sitting in Zazen letting my mind wander. It wondered down a path inspired by Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone T.V. series.That path led to the following poll question:

Which scenario would cause the most fear and panic – You wake up tomorrow morning and learn that:

 

Think about it, meditate and take part in the poll. Then, share it with a friend so they can vote too. I’m very interested in the results.

Thanks, be safe and be healthy,

To learn my Kata-RX For Mindfulness for FREE, please click to my E-Dojo page https://senseijohn.me

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

 

Kata-RX Origins – Martial Utility

5 Feb

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If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

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      Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment: Kata-Rx For Wellness Origins (continued) – Martial Utility.

In continuing my discussion of the major events during my almost fifty years of training in karate kata that led to my Kata-RX For Wellness, one of the “light-bulb” moments occurred when I was a shy, introverted ten year old training under my first Sensei, Sensei Nick D’Antuono.

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

I had previously discussed the origins of my Kata-RX For Wellness as it related to how Sensei Nick would kill the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning class. Basically, he would have us creatively modify an existing kata using combinations we thought of. (For more, please see https://senseijohn.me/2019/07/24/origins-of-my-1-day-1-lifetime-kata-killing-time-on-a-saturday/ )

Once I earned the title of “Sensei” and was authorized to start my own Dojo, I carried on Sensei Nick’s tradition. I encouraged my own students, even the children’s class (age 7-14), to creatively modify a basic kata – with one crucial difference.

I noticed students began to modify the kata with esoteric, acrobatic combinations. There was one very real problem. The combinations they created sometimes utterly lacked a practical martial utility. That is to say that the combinations were totally impractical in a self-defense scenario.

One week I decided to surprise the students. I had them demonstrate their created kata and identity the combination that formed the basis of the kata sequences. The next class, I had them engage in kumite (sparring). The one, new rule was that the only fighting combination they could use was the sequence from their created kata. Oh boy, did they learn something. What they learned is the cardinal rule for kata that distinguished it from any other ritual, formal movements, such dance.

What is that cardinal rule of kata that separates it from all other ritual, formal movement?

The initial purpose of kata is martial. Kata is first and foremost for self-defense. Yes, I extoll and celebrate even, the non-martial benefits of kata, but first and foremost there is a martial utility.

That same martial utility is found in my Kata-RX For Wellness. Every movement and every state of mind found within my Kata-RX has a martial purpose! This is true of each and every kata and component you will learn in my online classes, including the Ghost Hand Kata, Sanchin Kata and my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata.

The difference between my teaching karate kata and Kata-RX is not within the movements or mindset. Rather, it is my approach to teaching you. In a karate curriculum, I would teach the kata from a self-defense standpoint and teach as a “secondary” benefit – the wellness and mindfulness benefits. Whereas my approach in Kata-RX is one of wellness and mindfulness. I can, for anyone interested teach the “secondary” benefit of self-defense.

So, with this article I want to take away the fact that the origins of Kata-RX For Wellness include the martial (self-defense) nature innate to all kata. Though you perform Kata-RX primarily for wellness and mindfulness, innately you cast a glance towards the martial role of the kata.

Here is a brief look at the FREE Kata-RX For Wellness online course filmed in beautiful Cape Cod and the New Jersey shore – enjoy and feel welcome to enroll in my online school. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class its FREE, https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-RX In The Depth Of Winter

22 Jan

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If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

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=== Now, for this week’s installment, “Kata-RX In The Depth Of Winter Snow”

A primary advantage of my Kata-RX over other forms of moving meditation such as yoga or Tai-Chi is that ANYbody, ANYwhere and ANYtime can perform Kata-RX. I am living proof of this simple reality each and every day.

This weekend was no different. Snow was in the forecast for the first time this year. Though the storm produced less snow accumulations than predicted, by days end, I still had to go out and shovel. How to get ready to combat the winter?

Simple, time for a little pre-shovel kata in the snow! And, to increase the effects of my Kata-RX, I added a koan to contemplate during the kata. Adding a koan facilitates the ascendancy experience (See endnote # 1) https://senseijohn.me/2019/09/25/kata-koan-preview-sea-monsters-in-your-ocean/

My koan was a quote from Albert Camus:

“In the depth of winter,
I discovered that
Within me there lay
An invincible summer.”

 Here’s a preview video from that Kata-RX session, enjoy and click the link to learn Kata-RX For Wellness for FREE! https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation The video gives you a peak at the three easy but profound Kata-RX For Wellness you will learn: 

Ghost Hand Kata – to adjust visualization & perception;
Sanchin Kata – the three aspects of life (Breath – Body – Mind);
1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata – ascendancy

See you in class, again its FREE https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:

1. Kata-RX facilitates the ascendancy experience of meditation. The depth of attention ascending (from the least attentive at the bottom to the most attentive) will go something like this: (note: there are 2 types of ascendancy): 

Kata-RX: My Daily Caesurae

8 Jan

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If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

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There is a technique used in reading poetry known as a “caesurae.” A caesurae is a dramatic pause designed to given fulfillment, meaning and drama to the poem.
There comes a time when we all need a caesurae, a poetic pause, from the drama of our daily lives.

I am not immune to such a need. I daily perform my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness. In fact, most days, I perform my Kata-RX meditation three times, morning, noon and night.   

        I invite you to learn my Kata-RX for FREE – that’s right – FREE! using this convenient link. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

You can see a preview of my Kata-RX filmed in beautiful Cape Cod and the New Jersey shore here:

Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class – its FREE – you have nothing to lose and all to gain!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Holiday Stress? Try Kata-RX For FREE!

11 Dec

   It seems but the blink of an eye. Or perhaps, more appropriately the jingle of a bell. Once again the Christmas Season is upon us. That means one thing – extra Holiday stress. To compound that, “Christmas comes early this year” seems to be on everyone’s lips. It seems somehow, Thanksgiving conspired to add to the stress by “Coming late” and thus, there’s less time to shop for Christmas.

   Is there no relief? “Yes!” Treat yourself to the wellness and mindfulness benefits of Kata-RX for FREE!. Take a moment to give back to yourself. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. You have nothing to loose, its FREE!

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

   Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Perfect Christmas Gift – Kata-RX Online Classes For FREE!

4 Dec

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$5.00

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

First, Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Second, you can enhance your Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness with the next, more advanced course. This course is only $ 55 (or a two payment option of $ 30. each). Either way, there’s a full refund in thirty days if not completely satisfied!

Third, there is nothing else to but! I designed Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness not as a “brand”, “marketing scheme” or “merchandising opportunity.” All you need is within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Fourth, its EASY. You need not be athletic. You can even perform Kata-RX while sitting or in bed!

Fifth, it takes very little of your precious time!

Literally, there is NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness this Holiday Season!

Checkout the video below and see for yourself. CAUTION – once you see the video you will realize you have NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness.

See you in class, start for FREE
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-RX Origins – Cross-Country Road Trips

20 Nov

Donations are welcome!

If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

    Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment origins of Kata-RX continued – how my cross country road trips helped me to develop my Kata-RX For Wellness online course.

This time of year I get sentimental about missing being on the road. From 2004 to 2014 I made several annual cross county road trips from Arizona to New Jersey and back. The majority on my motorcycle with my passenger, a little Miniature Pincher, a min-pin, called Chloe who passed in January of 2014. Lets see how these road trips helped me in creating my Kata-RX for wellness program. So, read on and take a ride with me “On the road” with kata.

Chloe on the road – circa 2006

The last of these annual road trips ended Thanksgiving Day 2014 when I returned to New Jersey. So it is at this time of year that I become most sentimental about missing that journey. Events keep me from such adventures – for now.

First, let me begin with a topic from one of the Kata-Rx classes – The “Souvenir Effect” of kata. Notwithstanding that life precludes my from throwing a leg over my bike and taking the next four days to ride towards the setting sun I can and will relive that journey. The souvenir effect of Kata-RX allows me to re-ride my last sojourn through kata. Briefly, each day, starting next Monday I will perform the exact same kata as I did during my road trip. In fact, I’ll even try to do the kata at the approximate time of day that I did on that trip. Like any souvenir this allows me to relive those great days on the road. You can see the videos I filmed along the road and a more detailed discussion of the “Souvenir Effect” of kata here: https://senseijohn.me/2019/10/16/kata-rx-souvenir-effect/

Now, turning to how similar trips helped me in formulating the Kata-RX For Wellness courses. I’ve put relevant videos in the endnotes from that trip with markers to point out the following. During that last road trip and in fact during the daily journey of my life, I use kata to not only energize, rejuvenate and balance me, I use kata to nourish and sustain me. The advantage of Kata-RX over activities such as yoga, the “gym” and others which have become overtly commercialized, is that Kata-RX is within you at all times. You do not need any special equipment. age and physical athleticism is not required. The simple fact is that ANYbody, ANYplace, ANYtime can perform Kata-RX when needed. As you can see in the videos, even in parking lots, cramped motel rooms, at dawn, at dusk, in the rain or snow Kata-RX is there for you to call upon as needed. You can even see, on day four, of Sanchin Kata at a gas station pump as I filled my tank with gas! Again, ANYtime, ANYplace.

I hope you enjoy the videos below and come along and join me looking and practicing the souvenir of my kata.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnotes:

Here are the videos from that last memorable road trip. While you can certainly watch the full videos, I know your time is precious, so before each video, I’ll highlight the specific kata I am referring to so as to help tell you how this journey helped my develop the Kata-RX online school.

Day one – Arizona to Shamrock Texas.
At counter marker 3:30 you can see how at the end of the day, I created a spontaneous hybrid kata to help me unwind. Limited by the confines of a small hotel room, dressed in my road clothes, I was able to relax, unwind and recharge using the kata that resides within me to re-balance myself.

Day two – ending in Tennessee
At counter marker 0:14 you can again see a hybrid kata (some of the movements being infused into the Kata-RX classes, performed at 5:30 am in the cold, dark pre-dawn lit by the headlights of my truck.

Day three – ending in Virginia
At marker 0:15 you can again see a hybrid Kata. At marker 3:04 you can see a kata tribute to my lost friend and comrade Shihan Wayne Norlander who passed unexpectedly on May 18th, 2011.

Day 4 – ending in New Jersey
At marker 0:30 you can see Sanchin Kata (a large component of Kata-RX) performed at a gas station! Again, ANYwhere ANYtime.

Katannabis Guideline # 1: Exiting Katannabis

6 Nov

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If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

     Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

================

     Now, for this week’s installment Katannabis Guideline # 1: Exiting Katannabis

The ceremonial ritual of Katannabis involves the combination of my Kata-RX and medical cannabis. But there’s more. There is an important phase of the ritual that isn’t apparent on the surface. While it is true that the Katannabis ceremony is performed with both Kata-RX and medical cannabis there is an important step that must be performed after the effects of cannabis have worn off.

It is very important that the Kata-RX you performed while under the influence of your medical cannabis must again be performed without cannabis. It is so important that I have prioritized this as the first guideline.

In my practice, I discovered that it is extremely important to perform the exact kata (and sequence of kata) that formed the Katannabis ceremony without the effects of cannabis. Think of this as a symbolic “exit” to the Katannabis ceremony. Usually my Katannabis is performed in the early evening. The first thing I do the morning after Katannabis is to perform the exact same kata as my “Exit” Kata-RX.

There are many reasons that this guideline must not be ignored. Most are beyond the ken of this article which is to simply get you to add an Exit Kata-RX to your ceremony. These reasons are fully explored in the class videos. For now; however, I would like you to understand that the perception and visualization shift of the Ghost Hand Kata (which is one component of Kata-RX) is highly amplified during the Katannabis ceremony. The effect of medical cannabis, when combined with Kata-RX, on the shift of perception is profound. In essence, the shift transcends a physical based reality to a heightened sense of the import and your participation in the non-physical elements of reality. As such, it is important that you reacquaint yourself with a return from the non-physical experience to a reality grounded in physicality. This is accomplished by the Exit Kata-RX.

Here’s a snippet from a class video about Exiting Katannabis:

To reiterate, you should think of the full Katannabis ceremony to include not only the Katannabis aspect (Kata-RX plus medical cannabis) but also the Exit Kata-RX. Thus, guideline number one becomes part and parcel of Katannabis, not merely a guideline.

Please do not skip this step. To learn more, please sign up for the first course – its FREE.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Katannabis Guidelines (tips for combining Kata-RX with your medical cannabis)

21 Oct

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If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

 

    Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE   https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment:

                Katannabis Guidelines

First, the Kata-RX ceremony incorporating medical cannabis, called “Katannabis” refers to the legal use of cannabis – I do not in any form encourage the illegal use of cannabis. Second, these articles are but a summary. The guidelines herein are discussed in great detail in the classes offered in my Kata-RX for wellness online school. I am posting them only for those that try any of the concepts of Katannabis without the benefit of those classes. To this I say – first, the core course is FREE so take it and second the next course is economically priced and has a 30 day guarantee so, you experiment with Katannabis unguided and at your own risk (and yes, there are unforeseen risks!) if you do not take the courses.

Katannabis is like any prescription. Look at your prescription for your cannabis, or any other medication for that matter. It comes with instructions. Whether you read them or not is up to you. Failing to read them exposes you to a potential for peril. In my personal experience, I have had medication with sometimes quirky instructions – “take with meals,” “do not take before or after consuming grapefruit” (yeah that was a weird one) and the instruction I bet nobody follows, “do not drive or operate equipment after taking.” Whether the directions seem logical or quirky, they must be followed lest the import of the prescription be diminished, or worse, you are in danger.

The same is true for Katannabis. The guidelines I proffer may seem logical, others may seem quirky. But, they are proffered for a purpose. When you combine the external movements, the internal processes (breathing, relaxing and tensing, and internal energy flows), visualization and perception shifts of Kata-RX with your medical cannabis, there is a profound result. But, only if you are mindful of, lets say, the “side effects.” The guidelines that are discussed in class and summarized in future articles will identify and address those side effects. Trust me, there are entirely something you are unaware of and unaccustomed to.

So, please first and foremost, take the classes. The courses provide information as to how to communicate with me during the learning process – use those resources and keep in touch! Use the articles in the “Katannabis” category as reminders of those guidelines. Lastly, at all times, practice with a true heart and open mind.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Here’s a look at Kata-RX filmed throughout beautiful Provincetown, MA & Cape Cod:

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-RX “Souvenir Effect”

16 Oct

Donations are welcome!

If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

   Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

================

Now, for this week’s installment: Kata-RX “Souvenir effect”

I’m not sure when exactly it happened. It was far too long ago, before the time I had grey hair. I discovered that during kata I could “transport” my mind. I would be performing kata in one location, but in my minds-eye I’d be in another location.

At an early age I realized that kata lived within me. It percolated and simmered waiting to pour out. Using my arms, legs and mind, kata would spill its benefits into the cup of my soul. As no special equipment or uniform is needed to perform kata, I could perform it anywhere at anytime.

A Sanchin pontoon boat ride with Miko (R.I.P.), Lake George, NY circa 1999

I especially loved (and still love) kata outdoors. Even on vacation, kata was with me. Through practice, kata became a souvenir of my travels. This is the “souvenir effect” of my Kata-RX for wellness. You, too, can experience this effect anytime you wish, or need to. In fact I did that just this morning.

Seienchin Kata during Sturgis Bike Week, Badlands State Park, 2003

I woke this morning and opened my eyes to grey. The day is cool, and dreary. The forecast is for a windy, rain driven Nor’easter this afternoon; a deluge. I performed my morning Kata in my backyard. The vegetable garden is gone, the trees, save for the pine trees are almost bear. What happened to the cacophony of color? Gone with the change of season. During practice, I closed my eyes and performed my “1 Day / 1 Lifetime” Kata. Lo and behold, I was transformed. In my minds-eye I was once again filming videos on a sunny, warm, colorful beach. I felt as if I was once again on Cape Cod or down the Jersey shore. I was a living, time-traveling.

Join me in my P-Town souvenir and take a sneak peak at my FREE Kata-RX first course. The course contains a full class & practice session on the souvenir effect of Kata-RX for wellness.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

I don’t perform my kata only in warm, temperate weather, here’s one of Sanchin Kata (which is a component of my “1Day / 1 Lifetime” Kata) in a winter storm (with poems)

Kata-RX & Medical Cannabis – Katannabis

9 Oct

    Wow!
Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

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Now, for this week’s installment which kicks off a series of articles about my marriage of Kata-RX and medical marijuana.

Kata-RX is a sacrament-like component of an entheogenic ceremonial medical cannabis ritual. To anyone, martial artist or not who has difficulty wrapping their minds around the idea of combining the sacredness of kata with medical marijuana – “Get over it.” First, until you experience first hand or through the eyes of someone struggling with the great physical, mental or emotional pain, do not judge the use of medical cannabis. Second, cannabis and other medical, sacred plants have been used in entheogenic ceremonial rituals for centuries. Kata-RX is the perfect ritual for a devout exploration of the entheogenic use of medical cannabis.

Society has finally began to understand and acknowledge the beneficial medical use of cannabis. We are only now touching upon the medical benefits, both in the treatment of physical illness and dilatory mental illness and emotional difficulties. But, is this enough? The answer is “Yes” and “No.”

While it is true that a great exploration of the medical use of cannabis is underway, it unfortunately falls short. Such a use is exponentially enhanced when cannabis is utilized as part of a ceremonial ritual. The ritual of Kata-RX is an indispensable sacrament to the entheogenic use of cannabis. Kata-RX is rich in the mind/body techniques of breathing, relaxation, dynamic tension, visualization and perception. These factors when combined with medical cannabis produce a profound, almost other worldly physical and mental realization of “self.” Kata-Rx and medical cannabis is a baptism to the higher self we are all capable of achieving.

But, I have a problem with my concept of ritualizing Kata-RX plus medical cannabis into an entheogenic ceremony. How to educate others who can benefit from the experience?

Everything nowadays needs a brand, a hashtag, a catch-phrase. So despite my concern that labeling the profound ceremonial ritual of Kata-RX and medical cannabis will bastardize its solemnity, I must yield to such convention. I call the sacramental integration of my Kata-RX and cannabis, “Katannabis.” ™

Kata + Cannabis = Katannabis

Katannabis is a handy reference to the sacramental practice of combining the ritual of Kata-RX and cannabis as a solemn ceremony exploring the wellness and mindfulness of the enhanced human experience. I will organize future articles and videos into a new category, Katannabis” for handy reference.

Sneak-peak: Katannabis works extremely well with Kata-Koan practice as shown in the video – much more on that later.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata & Koan Preview: Sea-Monsters In Your Ocean

25 Sep

Donations are welcome!

If you enjoy this post, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

          Wow!
Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness Program is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

========= Now, for this week’s installment, “Kata & Koan Preview – Sea Monsters In Your Ocean”

I’m toying with a new video series to help you practice your Kata-RX with me. In my personal practice I often combine my Kata-RX with a thought-provoking reading; a form of meditative koan, if you will. (See note 1) I find the combination of Kata and koan (or thought provoking concept) produces a far-reaching physical and mental experience. Now, you can too.

You can practice your Kata-RX with the video. As you perform your Kata-RX you are immersed in the sounds of nature. As you absorb the sounds and beauty of the kata environment, the koan triggers your mind to enter a deeply contemplative state. The result? Well, the best description is for you to try it. The first step is simple – enroll in my FREE first course. In as little as a half hour, your well on your way. Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Here is a preview of what I’m toying with. This video uses a reading from John Steinbeck – “We need Sea-Monsters . . . “ You can see the full text of the narration below.
Enjoy the video!

To further enrich your enjoyment of the Kata-RX here is the text of the narration in the video. It is from John Steinbeck’s “The Log Of The Sea Of Cortez” (Penguin Books, New York, NY) p.27-28.

Men really need sea monsters in their personal oceans.
For the ocean, deep and black in depths, is like the low dark levels of our minds in which the dream symbols incubate and sometimes rise up to sight. . . And even if the symbol vision is horrible, it is there and it is ours. An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep.

One historical note. Those of you that are not new to this site know that this is not something new. In 2009 when I first launched my “Sanchin For Everyone” project, I devised my “Sanchin Pilgrimages” combining philosophy, ideology, scientific theorem and other such semi-knowable concepts with kata. Here are some early examples https://senseijohn.me/category/a-sanchin-pilgrimage/
From that starting point, I developed my kata concepts one step further with a more broadly defined Online Group Kata sessions, https://senseijohn.me/category/thats-ok/

During the pendency of my producing more koan videos, you may use some of my past submissions to tailor make your own meditative Kata-koan experience.

I look forward to seeing you in class.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Use this link to get the first course for FREE https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Endnotes:

1. For those of you not familiar with a koan, the general definition is

a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

A classic example is the question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
For me, the meditation and contemplation of such traditional koans are unsatisfactory, unfulfilling and unenlightening. I prefer something less esoteric to meditate on. One of my favorites is shown in the above video.

Cape Cod Kata-RX Epiphany

18 Sep

Wow!
   Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness Program is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

========= Now, for this week’s installment, “P-Town Kata Epiphany”

While recently enjoying a long weekend on Cape Cod, MA, I had an epiphany. My realization if your bonus.

I understand the importance of promotional videos to advertise my Kata-RX. I had previously hesitated posting videos of my complete “1 Day / 1 Lifetime” Kata. My hesitation was the result of a concern that viewers would simply try to mimic the physical movements.

I feel strongly that in the “wellness arena” there is too much emphasis on form over substance – the physical over the internal. Though lip service is given to the concept of “mind-body unity,” the reality is that the body and coveted “perfection” of same is where emphasis is placed. In my opinion, this had befallen many mindfulness activities including yoga and Tai Chi. It has even touched and diminished Zazen, seated meditation. Internal concepts of breathing, states-of-mind and internal energy flows are missing.

Advertising and branding has transformed these fundamentally spiritual activities into bastions of physicality requiring the latest (most expensive) yoga pants and attire, mats, equipments, uniforms and “quiet-rooms” for practice and meditation. Simply put, you can merchandize and brand the physical but not the internal.

I wanted to use video to promote my Kata-RX but didn’t want a viewer to copy and mimic the physical movements thus forsaking the internal processes. I would post online videos but not the complete Kata-RX. With movements missing, I felt the physical movements could not be copied. The downside, of course, is that a potential student could not see the entire Kata-RX unless enrolled.

Here is one such video.

During my weekend on Cape Cod I had a change of heart. I decided to make the first course available for FREE. No trying to “steal” the movements by watching a promotional video. Now, you can learn these fundamental movements and concepts for FREE. Then, I am confident you would want to expand and build upon the kata and purchase the second, more advanced, course.

Moving forward I see no reason to not show the full kata in promotional videos. Here’s the first release. To celebrate my Cape Cod epiphany, it shows the full kata, as a compilation, using all the videos filmed in various locations throughout the Cape.

So, the first course is yours for the taking! Use the kata properly and you will want more! Why? Simple. You will realize how beneficially the kata improves you; physically, mentally and emotionally. How could you not want a more fulfilling experience?

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Origins Of My 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata – Killing Time On A Saturday

24 Jul

   At a recent Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness seminar I was asked where I got the inspiration to create my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata.© I answered that there were many sources, but the root source occurred about forty-seven years ago. More specifically, it was during the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning karate classes. What do I mean? Well, lets take a trip down kata memory lane.

But first, let’s look at a sneak peak of my unique, groundbreaking kata, filmed on a beautiful summer day in Asbury Park, NJ:

   Forty-seven years ago I was well into my first year at Sensei Tom DeFelice’s Academy Of Goshin-Do Karate in Palisades Park, New Jersey.

At ten years old I was enrolled in the “Junior Division” for students under eighteen years old. The chief instructor of the junior division was Sensei Nick D’Antuono, one of Sensei DeFelice’s senior black belts.

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

The last class of the week was the Saturday morning class. The last fifteen minutes of this class subconsciously molded my views on kata. A bit of kata background.

The first kata a student learns is the Taikiyoku Kata. The word “Taikiyoku” translates as “To build the body (Tai) and the spirit (Ki).” The kata is a series of three numbered kata. The series involves a simple sequence of one of three blocks with a counter punch. The three different kata interchanged the three basic blocks of the Goshin-Do Karate style. Thus, Taikiyoku number 1 (or Taikiyoku Sho-dan) incorporated the low block. Taikiyoku number two (Nidan) utilized the middle block and Taikiyoku number three (Sandan) incorporated the high block. The pattern of the kata traces the letter “I” on the floor.

The last fifteen minutes of the Saturday morning class, we, as a group, would perform the three Taikiyoku Kata as Sensei Nick called out the cadence. This usually took about five minutes. In the ten remaining minutes, Sensei Nick would then call out differing numbers of Taikiyoku to perform. For example, Sensei might say, “next Taikiyoku number thirty-eight.” One of us would raise our hand asking, “Which one is that Sensei?” Sensei would reply, “That’s with a open parry block and a hammer-fist strike.” We would perform the kata using the same basic “I” pattern simply substituting the dictated block and counter. In this manner, we would do various versions of the Taikiyoku, each with a made-up number, until class ended. There was a simple practical reason for the Taikiyoku variations. Little did Sensei Nick know the full impact of this practicality.

As I advanced to the Dai-Sempai (“Oldest Brother”), the highest ranking student in the junior division, I began to help Sensei Nick teach the Saturday morning beginner’s class. I asked them about the tradition of Taikiyoku Kata during the last fifteen minutes of the class. The answer I received was mundane. Its impact was profound.

First, the mundane. The Saturday morning class was the last class for the week. Sensei Nick worked full time during the week and taught karate part time. So, the Saturday morning class was his last “official” work related function before he could enjoy his weekend. As I soon learned by assisting him, the last fifteen minutes of a class were the most difficult. In so far as the pleasures of the weekend lay immediately ahead they tended to drag out. Sensei Nick used the Taikiyoku variations to basically kill those last fifteen minutes. He would simply make up a combination of a block and a counter strike, give it a number, et voila, time would fly by. The kata were simply created in the mind of Sensei.

Now, the profound. This simple little exercise to kill time opened students imagination. For me it expanded my thoughts and conceptions about kata. It ultimately led me to “Think-Sweat & Experiment” ™ fully with kata. The penultimate result of this process being my 1 Day / 1 Lifetime Kata which you can learn online.

So, I guess you can say that it was the need for Sensei Nick to kill the last fifteen minutes of Saturday morning classes that was the catalyst to my creation. Like lightening for Doctor Frankenstein, it that lit the spark for my quest to explore kata and create a kata for you, the non-martial artist that desires the mind-body benefits of kata.

Here is a little preview of the first course which teaches the core physical movements and internal processes of the kata.

You can use this link to view the full curriculum and click the “enroll” button if you would like to start your class. https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

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